5 week wait on first appointment at breast clinic in Northern Ireland.

Hi everyone, I’m new posting here but I’ve been reading all of your posts for a while. 

I’m a single Mum of Two amazing daughters.

About 3-4 weeks ago I found a lump and dimple while shaving my underarm. Went to GP the very next day, she reassured me she thought it wasn’t anything to worry about and made a follow up appointment for 2 weeks later to check it during a different part of my cycle. 

During the second appointment she said she didn’t expect it to still be there but it was and she referred me to the breast clinic. She advised me to ring the referral line 3 days later to see what the waiting time was and it is 5 weeks.


That was 2 weeks ago, I havn’t heard anything from anyone. I’m at my wits end with waiting. And to top it all off I found a second lump this evening, just above the first one but it’s tiny in comparison.  Should I be worried about this? Should I inform the doctor? Or would it be best just to wait on the appointment and hope it comes sooner rather than later? 

Hi Worriedmamma,
Sorry to hear you have this anxiety, waiting for appointments is horrible.
It sounds like you weren’t referred under the 2 week rule, but rather as not urgent. Mostly, it turns out not to be bc, but that’s not the point when waiting.
It maybe worth giving the clinic another ring, to see what the situation is & if there continues to be a delay, then it maybe worth going back to your GP about it.
Although the anxiety when waiting is the pits, a few weeks here or there will be highly unlikely to make any difference to the outcome.
ann x

Hi worriedmama,
Well, it’s certainly not ideal, but if that is the situation then, we all do get through it. Sadly, there are no magic wands in dealing with this, but mostly it turns out not to be bc & it really is not possible to second guess it.
It’s a lot easier said than done, but nothing is going to change dramatically between now & the appointment & it can help to carry on as usual, keep yourself distracted & avoid Dr Google - as it only feeds anxiety.
Do take care
ann x

Hi worriedmamma

I’m in same boat as you, was referred as urgent and told to phone after 4 days for appointment. When I did they said the wait was 4-5 weeks. I waited 5!! I had my appointment this week and they found a suspicious mass on the US. Now awaiting a biopsy in a weeks time. I feel so angry at having to wait so long for my initial appointment when GP also referred me urgently. But they did say there was only one doc at clinic when I was there and apologised for my wait. I hope your appointment comes soon. My letter came two weeks after GP referral and had to wait three for appointment xx

I visited my gp in July and was referred urgently- my breast clinic appointment came through for the 30th of August. I was out of my mind with worry and i could not wait.
I attended a private appointment on the 8th of August, I had a consultation, mammogram and ultrasound. The staff were aware I was self finding and why I had felt the need to go private. (Against my normal principles). They did not exploit me at all and and did the minimum tests they could that day to give me answers. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with bc. I fed back into the nhs system and my appointment was brought forward by 7 days. So I still had a wait. I have had the same treatment on the nhs and going private initially has not changed anything apart from save my sanity.
Deep down inside I knew I had bc and going private was a last resort. I appreciate it’s not an option available to everyone.
It was not as expensive as I had anticipated so if it is an option to you find out more about it.
My test results and images etc from the private clinic were shared with the nhs clinic and in fact two of the consultants I seen privately sit on my nhs multi disciplinary team anyaway and are still indirectly involved in my treatment plan.
I wish you well and the waiting is almost the hardest part of this journey.

Hi ladies,Worriedmama and Leela, 


''was just scanning thru.saw this…and as Ann said earlier, there is a two week rule when you need referral to a Breast clinic…in fact I believe it applies to any opd appt which might possibly relate to a ?cancer.


made me think back to 2000, when I presented myself at the Breast unit with a dip in my breast which I knew was abnormal…they were a bit dismissive but when in tears they ultra sounded me…I still have the letter saying 'you will be pleased to hear, etc…


a year later, I was on the phone and found a very large hard lump and rang my gp immediately…said I’ve got breast cancer…and was seen the very next day, biopsied and a week later the cons gave me the news…I think the moral I’m trying to get over…is push to be seen…even if you find it’s nothing…are made to feel a pain, etc…take charge of your care and get seen…at a breast unit.  Ok they are all busy, but you are important xx


i am now metastatic but on treatment…that lost year might have led to my mastectomy…I have lobular bc and in those days it was harder to see…but these days they can spot it.


Keep pressing to be seen…don’t panic…just insist on being seen xx hopefully it will be nothing.



Hi WM,
Well, at least you can rant here & you’re doing everything you can.
I know this is not the point when you’re going through this, but a few weeks here or there would be wholly unlikely to make any difference in the scheme of things.
Sending hugs
ann x

Ladies, thank you so much for your replies. 

I will gladly look through that app, it sounds really beneficial. 


I got a phone call today to make an appointment for next Monday at 9.30am, I will receive a letter in a couple of days giving me more detail. 


I can’t thank you all enough for just listening (or reading lol).